Nasa's Mars Maven  on the Brink of Disaster

Spacecraft Spent 3 Months

Three-hour presentation t

o NASA leadership about the MAVEN Mars orbiter's future was supposed to be the biggest challenge for the mission team 

But just as the

 presentation was going smoothly on Earth, the spacecraft itself was in serious trouble millions of miles away. 

AS soon as the meeting end

,Shannon Curry recently appointed principal investigator for the MAVEN mission, got a call from project manager saying 'We're in safe mode.'

Safe mode means

 that a spacecraft has run into a problem it can't solve on its own

Sometimes, the solution 

is simple, the cosmic equivalent of rebooting an internet router.But not this time.

 So Maven has shut down

everything it doesn't need to survive until engineers on Earth can assess the situation. 

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